The Cardinals had 56 rebounds, 24 on the offensive glass and defeated the West Michigan D League champions from a season ago.
“I thought the girls really stepped up and played with an intensity that they need to play with every night,” said Cardinals’ coach Jake Smith. “Obviously, I’ve seen streaks of it but I thought they played a very good game tonight. Darn near a complete game. I was very pleased, and obviously it’s nice to get that win at home. “Mesick played a tough game and they’re quick and aggressive.”
Scoring was hard to come by early on as Mason County Eastern led 7-2 after one quarter and 11-4 at the half.
Scoring picked up in the second half, with the Cardinals gaining a 12-6 edge on the Bulldogs in the third quarter. Lucy Shoup scored five points and Eastern opened a 23-10 advantage.
Mesick hung tough in the fourth period, but the Cardinals finished it out with a 10-9 edge over the final eight minutes.
“We had scouted the one girl for them (Kayla McCoy), who put up 20 against one team and thought of going to a box-and-one,” Smith said. “But, we just decided to stay in our 1-2-2. We gave up a few things in the middle because we were spread out a little bit too far, but I thought overall we played a good game.
“Our free throw shooting was one of our downsides. We missed nine free throws in the first half. But, that’s how it goes. It’s not like we don’t practice it. They just had a bad night shooting free throws.”
Janessa Alvesteffer led the Cardinals with 10 points, followed by Shoup with nine and Jimenez five. The Cardinals struggled at the free throw line, making just 6-of-21 attempts.
Shoup was big on the boards for the Cardinals with 16 rebounds. Gomez Jimenez claimed 10 rebounds, Alvesteffer had nine, Olivia Wing eight and Deanna Codman seven.
The Cardinals (3-3, 3-1) play Thursday at Baldwin (varsity only) in a league matchup.